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Wings of Protection

Makhno's page

182 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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That all having been said, my ideal simple solution to "core 3.5 is what we want to run, but the lower-tier classes are kind of weak and that's no fun :(" is to use the Trailblazer rules. They fix what needs fixing, in straightforward ways (taking some great ideas from Pathfinder and adding a whole bunch of their own, rather ingenious, innovations).

(My ideal solution, period, is to design my own variant system. But I can't recommend this option to anyone else, because it's staggeringly effort-intensive.)

False comparison. You must compare Core 3.5 to Core PF, or "3.5 + splat" to "PF with Advanced *, Ultimate *, setting, etc.".

It's simply absurd to compare Core 3.5 to "PF with all the splat" — but that's what you're doing when you bring in archetypes. Under the proper comparisons, a 3.5 character can easily win. To wit:

Core vs. Core:


1. 3.5 druid beats any PF class. (Wild shape and animal companions both worked very differently in 3.5.)

2. Certain martial builds were better in 3.5; for example, a 3.5 spiked chain tripper is superior in almost every way to his PF counterpart.

3. Bards had certain advantages in 3.5 due to the way song effect durations worked.

Splat vs. Splat:


1. PF simply doesn't have some of the game-breaking combos that 3.5 splat allowed.

2. Certain magical spells and effects (polymorph / shapechange is just one example) were way, way more open to crazy-power-level exploits in 3.5.

3. The far, far greater selection / diversity, and much lower level of standardization, of prestige classes and certain other kinds of content (items, spells, etc.) in 3.5 meant that some truly titanic builds were possible: nightsticks and Divine Metamagic is not a thing in PF, for example; nor is Vow of Poverty; nor is Mindrape / Love's Pain for unavoidable infinite-range ignores-all-defenses assassination; etc., etc.

Edit: In short, if you allow both all 3.5 material and all PF material, and someone builds a PF character and someone else builds a 3.5 character (both at high optimization levels), the PF character doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.

Edit 2: Of course, you could bring in 3pp stuff to help the PF guy out, while still sticking to WotC-only for the 3.5 side; but I am reasonably sure that even then, the PF guy gets stomped easily.

Umbral Reaver wrote:
Is that available publicly anywhere?

I'm afraid not. But DriveThruRPG does sell it for less than $5.

It's well worth it.

Umbral Reaver wrote:

Something like: You may spend an attack of opportunity to attempt to block with a shield.

You roll 1d20 + your BAB + your Str bonus + your shield bonus (including enhancement) vs the incoming attack. You may use this total as your AC against the attack.

I feel like there should be a higher cost to this, perhaps. I dunno at the moment. I suppose it does make shields really good for defending against a single opponent and opens up weak points if you are attacked more than once in a turn (if you don't have combat reflexes).

I highly recommend looking into the Trailblazer combat reaction rules.

Umbral Reaver wrote:
It also makes archers a little worse. Which is probably a good thing.

Well, I guess that depends on whether you allow stuff like Clustered Shots... if you don't, then yeah, it does, and yes, that's probably not a bad thing.

Some quick math with some (more or less arbitrarily selected) monsters:

CR 1:


Small Air Elemental
- current AC 17
- new AC 16

Small Earth Elemental
- current AC 17
- new AC 14

- current AC 14
- new AC 13

- current AC 15
- new AC 13

Giant Spider (Medium)
- current AC 14
- new AC 14

CR 5:


- current AC 19
- new AC 16

Bearded Devil
- current AC 19
- new AC 16

Gibbering Mouther
- current AC 19
- new AC 16

Dire Lion
- current AC 15
- new AC 13

- current AC 16
- new AC 14

CR 10:


- current AC 22
- new AC 16

Cryohydra, 9-headed
- current AC 19
- new AC 14

Young Adult Black Dragon
- current AC 25
- new AC 18

Fire Giant
- current AC 24
- new AC 12 (fire giants wear half-plate armor)

Rakshasa, common
- current AC 25
- new AC 21

CR 15:


Mature Adult Red Dragon
- current AC 32
- new AC 20

Marut Inevitable
- current AC 30
- new AC 22

Gare Linnorm
- current AC 30
- new AC 21

- current AC 30
- new AC 17

Jotund Troll
- current AC 30
- new AC 19

One thing that strikes me about the effect of these rules is that monsters gain touch AC and lose regular AC[1] (while gaining DR). This favors big hitters (two-handed weapon types) while disfavoring people who hit more times but for less damage, as well as anyone who relied on touch attacks (such as some casters).

It seems that, past a certain level, monsters at CR = APL will be essentially auto-hittable with this rule. At roughly what level will this actually happen? My estimate is approx. level 6-8. Which you may be totally ok with, given that you're doing E6; this would actually let you throw higher-CR monsters at the party, and have them be challenging (due to lots of HP/DR, attacks, etc.) without being unhittable by the party.

But, if it becomes a problem (PCs hitting monsters too easily), one thing that might make combats a little more interesting is either some sort of "active defense" (e.g. the Trailblazer combat reaction rules that let someone attempt to dodge individual attacks), or some way of converting attack bonus to more damage (in the vein of Power Attack) or some other effect like bleed, or both.

[1] To be clear, what I mean by this is that monsters become easier to hit with things that are "attacks vs. regular AC" in the standard system, while becoming harder to hit with things that are "attacks vs. touch AC" in the standard system.

Edit: I am still thinking about this and rewriting as I go

Question: in your system, do you differentiate between touch AC and regular AC?

(Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am not familiar with Paizo's take on this variant; I know it from 3.5's Unearthed Arcana, and my own version of it.)

Also, do monster hit dice figure into this at all? Or do you more or less assume that a monster has (in its official stats) appropriate nat. armor for its CR/HD and its role, and then just convert the nat. armor into Defense bonus and DR, without considering its CR or HD?

Another question re: monsters: how does the DR they gain from nat. armor conversion interact with any DR they might already have? Does it just overlap?

What sort of total Defense numbers do monsters at various CRs end up with?

I've played around with similar rules for a low-magic variant system I'm working on. This is similar to how I approached it. Some thoughts:

You say "This bonus does not apply to CMD", but wouldn't it actually be simpler to use the Base Defense Bonus instead of BAB in the CMD calculation? With just a little adjustment, couldn't you unify Defense and CMD into one stat that way? (In another variant system I'm designing, I've already unified attack bonus and CMB, and it's definitely simpler that way.)

Re: shields: the way I did it, shields provide a Defense bonus rather than DR; +1 for buckler, +2 for light, +4 for heavy, +6 for tower.

(Caveat: I haven't playtested this, just done a lot of theorycraft and thinking.)

P.S. I'm glad to see someone working on this, this is a variant I've always found appealing!

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I've got an idea for one for my homebrew campaign, but I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions welcome!

There is a psionic lich template in Bruce Cordell's excellent adventure module If Thoughts Could Kill. It's for 3.5, but it shouldn't be hard to adapt it for Pathfinder and Dreamscarred Press's psionics rules.


One of the villains of the adventure is a pretty badass psionic lich. (His base of operations is a mini-dungeon built into the dimensionally-expanded inside of a Huge skeletal bear. Sort of an undead-bear-TARDIS. The lich rides in the bear's head and blasts his enemies with psionic powers through the bear's eye sockets.)

Snowblind wrote:
Havoq wrote:

I'd consider it with Knife Master, but that -2 on a 3/4 BAB a trap.

It's actually even worse on a knife master unless you are using something other than a knife.

The chance of getting a reroll are lower, but the accuracy loss is equal.

For reference, average damage per dice is...
Which is worse than on a d6

d8 with rerolling 1s:

(4.5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8) / 8 = 4.9375

d8 with rerolling 1s and 2s:

(4.5 + 4.5 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8) / 8 = 5.25

Seems better than with d6s, actually.

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The Bloodrager is strong because he always eats his Cheerios with Protein.

NobodysHome wrote:

If the d20 ends up with nothing but misses, then you start using a normal distribution and calculating average damage and all that, but that's usually way more work than I want to put in.

Just a note — the distribution of d20 rolls is not the normal (Gaussian) distribution, but the uniform distribution. (This makes a difference; the normal distribution has many 10s and 11s but few 1s and 20s; the uniform distribution has as many 1s as 20s as 10s as 15s etc.)

So the gist of this thread is "our favorite monsters are exactly those monsters which were invented by D&D, and which Wizards of the Coast has judged to be so iconic as to constitute intellectual property (and thus not covered by the OGL)".

Seems reasonable ;)

Calybos1 wrote:

Which "warlock" are you converting? A 3.x class, the Warcraft character class, the ones from Bewitched, or a generic fantasy-novel warlock archetype?

This is clearly the warlock from the 3.5 book Complete Arcane. Notice the eldritch blast and invocations.

Mark Hoover wrote:

You ever actually BEEN to Shell Beach?

Seriously though Mak, I hear you. I was looking over some notes from 2 years ago and originally I'd planned to run my current campaign West Marches style. Its a homebrew. But then I switched and I couldn't figure out why til I read a liner note. I'd rolled up "settlement" a couple hexes from the main city and I thought "how can I have miles of unexplored wilderness with a town 30 miles from the major city?" Why wouldn't there be trade, and political scheming, and shared lore and everything that comes from civilization?

Couple that with intelligent monsters/villains and I can't understand how this game style is supposed to work.

Oh my god, that's EXACTLY the movie that popped into my mind when I wrote this!

Yeah, I like my settings to be rather more... organic. As you described. The idea that the PCs just never have the option of doing anything interesting in a city, for example, is offputting.

Yeah, I've always thought the West Marches concept is silly, for more or less this reason (and related ones):

1. There's no plot (or metaplot).
2. There are no persistent villains (certainly not ones who do anything interesting).
3. There's no interaction between any parts of the world, on any but the most local scale.
4. Even though it's a "sandbox" of sorts, the PCs can't actually effect any changes to the world, because...
5. There IS no world. There's just an area with a set of disparate adventure locations, and outside of that region there's... nothing. Just an amorphous, unspecified mist.

Come to think of it, West Marches might be interesting as a sort of existential horror campaign, where the PCs slowly realize that the world they are in is not real, has no existence outside of this one region; that even the "city" doesn't exist beyond the small trade district they've seen; and that they can't... ever... escape... no matter how much they try...

This thing here — an item set consisting of five items (two gauntlets, pair of boots, breastplate, helm). It was one of the major focusing points of an entire years-long campaign. (Detailed item powers redacted for length.)

The Grand Sultan of the efreet wore the Armor into battle during his campaign of interplanar conquest, but he was defeated by an alliance of Good-aligned heroes and creatures. The Armor was scattered across the planes; but many years later, parts of it began to find their way to the Material Plane...


The Armor of the Grand Sultan: Created by the late, half-human Grand Sultan of the efreeti to grant himself power and control over his recalcitrant subjects, and composed of several semi-independent parts, this armor is impressive indeed. Though the individual and synergistic powers of the set pieces are described at length below, wearing the entire armor grants several formidable and unique powers to its fortunate owner.

For one, the unified armor magically binds itself to its wearer, and maintains this bond regardless of distance. The first person to don the entire set becomes the armor's recognized owner; thenceforth, he may take a standard action to recall the armor to him, provided he is located on the same plane as all its parts. (Otherwise this power functions as the called armor enhancement.) The only way to unbind the armor from its owner is to kill him, then scatter the armor's parts throughout the planes.

When the entire armor is worn, all the onyx gems set into it (one in each glove and each boot, one in the breastplate, and three in the helm) are searing hot to the touch, and a bright fire can be seen burning in their centers.


Breastplate: This +5 breastplate is made of brass, but due to the intense process of its creation, is hardened to provide a +5 bonus to AC (+10 total with the enhancement bonus). The entire armor provides a +7 bonus to AC (+12 total with enhancement bonus). The surface is engraved with various arcane symbols describing powerful abjurations, and is decorated with flames dancing around the armor's edges. A large onyx gem is set into the center, directly above a human wearer's heart.

The breastplate's primary function being protective, it has a variety of functions related to shielding the wearer from the fiery doom that the other parts of the armor are designed to inflict.


Helmet: This elaborate brass helmet, which is set with three onyx gems, seems mostly decorative, and does not provide much protection. It is crafted, however, in such a way as not to obscure vision, and it is a comfortable fit for any Medium-sized wearer. When worn, the helm appears to burst into flame, giving off a continual flame effect, and making it effectively impossible to hide. This effect cannot be dispelled, and is not suppressed in any sort of magical darkness.

The simplest power of the helmet becomes obvious the first time the wearer lights a bonfire; the helm permits the wearer to see through mundane or magical fire and smoke of any kind perfectly; opponents obscured by such smoke do not benefit from any concealment against the helm's wearer.

The primary purpose of the helmet is control. It serves to focus the energies of the rest of the armor into coherent powers. When worn separately from the entirety of the armor, this controlling magic attempts to exert itself in strange ways.


Boots: These tall, almost knee-high boots are made of brass, and engraved with images of fire and smoke. Though they are entirely metallic, they are nonetheless comfortable for any Medium-sized wearer. A small onyx gem is set deep into the heel of each boot. When when the boots are worn, small wisps of dark smoke rise from them continuously, giving off a faint sulfuric odor.

Inspired and powered by the Paraelemental Plane of Smoke, the boots were designed by the Grand Sultan to aid in travel and, should the situation require it, escape.


Gloves: These brass gauntlets are too thin and flimsy to provide any real protective value, and a character wielding them is not considered armed. However, they are quite ornate, and a highly polished black onyx gem is set into the middle of the palm of each glove.

The purpose of the gloves is offensive in nature: the Grand Sultan imbued with them with the ability to generate elemental energy. The Quasielemental Planes of Radiance and Ash are the inspiration and source of the gloves' power.


Ravingdork wrote:
Links! LINKS!!! I have no context for the discussion!

Yes, please link. Let's make a habit of linking to any rule/content we discuss. You'll get more help/comments that way, too.

Yes, this seems to work.

Ok, let's clarify, to make sure I understand what's going on. The character starts out Medium. The bastard sword starts out Large.

The Rules said wrote:

Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature can't make optimum use of a weapon that isn't properly sized for it. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isn't proficient with the weapon, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies.

The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.


As I understand it, your player's argument (with my commentary in parentheses) is like this:

1. The bastard sword is a one-handed weapon, with which he is, by default, not proficient. (He cannot wield it in one hand, even with a -4 nonproficiency penalty; this is different from the way nonproficiency works with most weapons. See -bastard.)
2. Taking Exotic Weapon Proficiency makes him proficient with it. (Rather than removing a nonproficiency penalty, as with most weapons, this now lets him wield it one-handed.)
3. The fact that the weapon is Large, on a Medium wielder, alters the measure of how much effort it takes to use it by one step up, thus making it two-handed. He can wield it two-handed, with a -2 penalty (see first paragraph of quote above).

When he enlarges with the weapon in hand, it enlarges with him; since the difference in the size category of weapon and wielder does not change, the above reasoning likewise stays unchanged.

Then, when he throws it, and it reduces in size, it comes back to him, now a Large weapon on a Large wielder. It remains a one-handed weapon by default (as bastard swords always are); he remains proficient with it (thus able, by default, to wield it one-handed); and it is now the same size as he is, thus not changing either of those things from their defaults. He can now wield the sword as a one-handed weapon with no penalty; he does not (while enlarged) incur the -2 penalty from wielding an inappropriately sized weapon.

As for the damage calculation... his Strength bonus is +5. (+6 when enlarged). Thrown weapons add 1x Strength modifier to damage. On a critical hit, that would be +12. Four levels of fighter get him Weapon Specialization (I assume), for another +2 (+4 on crit). That's +16. Where are we getting the other +8?

That aside, keep in mind that if your player were using a longsword instead of a bastard sword, those numbers would be very similar; a Large longsword does 2d6 damage, and a Huge one does 3d6. I'm not quite sure that I'd spend a feat on EWP, given those numbers, but otherwise, and contingent on the damage calculation being correct, the trick seems to work.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
And as a side note, I just love how this thread has become a RT debate rather than a 'Let's fix broken spells' discussion. Let's partay like it's 2000!

Right you are. Let us waste no more breath on rope trick. Instead:

Other things that need fixed.

I think that spells that grant immunity to things should go. Pretty much all of them. (I am open to individual exceptions, but can't think of any offhand.)

I refer to spells such as:

freedom of movement
death ward
mind blank

In 3.5, these made you outright immune to grappling, death effects and energy drain, and mind-affecting effects and most divinations, respectively.

Pathfinder did a bit of nerfing. Death ward now makes you immune only to negative energy, not death effects (against which it only provides a save); mind blank gives a bonus to saves against mind-affecting. Freedom of movement still makes you immune to grappling.

I say all these spells should be nerfed; they should grant immunity to nothing. Spells, especially if they last a minute per level, 10 minutes per level, or 24 hours, should not just make you immune to things. Immunities are uninteresting; they just eliminate a whole swath of possible tactics. They disregard the relative power levels of opponents; they contribute to the annoying issue of fights with casters always, tediously, opening with dispels.

At a certain level, you are of course going to go into every major battle with freedom of movement, which means that grappling is entirely eliminated as a category of threat; many mid-to-high level creatures have grapple-based powers, which are all rendered entirely moot by this spell. You don't have to adjust your tactics to compensate; you don't have to plan with them in mind; you just cast this one buff, as part of your standard buff routine, and put it out of your mind. Mind blank? Of course you have it on; put it on your martials, and now an entire massive category of threats (all mind-affecting spells, of which there are lots and lots and lots) is eliminated from consideration. Expect any chance at all of facing undead? Death ward yourself, just in case. Why not? Now a whole swath of creatures can't harm you, at all, with their primary, defining powers.

Instead, these spells should function as either bonuses to saves, or buffers, or some combination thereof. Freedom of movement might give a +8 bonus to CMD and EA vs. grapples, for instance. Death ward, rather than granting immunity to negative energy, might function more like 3.0 negative energy protection, where the warded creature may roll a check against the attack, which, if successful, negates it (and deals positive energy damage to the attacker). Or it could be a buffer, similar to protection from energy, being discharged after some number of negative energy attacks. And so forth. I don't know, I'm just throwing out ideas. The point is, outright immunities: no.

Oh, and:


That is exactly what the spell does, creates a little extra dimensional hiding spot.

You are saying that the spell is problematic for doing exactly what it is supposed to do? I just don't see it.

The point isn't that the spell is problematic for doing exactly what it's supposed to do (like, uh, almost all spells...), the point is that what the spell does is inherently problematic.

Remy Balster wrote:
Exactly how much do people get done in 5 minutes?

Quite a bit, considering that 5-15 minutes is enough to cast all of your short-duration buffs and have several big fights, if you can get to them quickly enough. (Which, past a certain level, is trivial. Especially in a dungeon.)

My Kingmaker group cleared a small dungeon in less than 10 minutes recently. It was maybe 3-5 fights, of which a couple were large-ish.

And how fun is it to spend, literally the entire day, sitting in an empty void with nothing to do?

Who cares?

"How much fun (for the characters) is it to do this overpowered thing" is not any kind of a good argument. If the overpowered thing provides a massive advantage, then the players will do it. It's not like they're the ones who have to sit there the whole day; the characters are sitting there the whole day, while in real life, only as much time passes as it takes to say "we sit in the rope trick the whole day".

Besides, maybe they play cards. Maybe the bard entertains them all with songs. Maybe they get real creative with the munchkinry and the wizard scribes some scrolls while the archer fletches some arrows. Sky's the limit!

And who in their right mind would ever do that all the time? Or... like, ever?

Many people, much of the time. This is a thing people do.

Every minute you spend sitting on your butt doing absolutely nothing is a minute the world continues to tick on by, stuff happens while PCs waste time. Usually it is 'bad stuff'.

Usually irrelevant if it's a dungeon. (Most dungeons aren't very reactive.) And in general, not all adventures are that time-constrained.

And even if you are time-constrained, the constraint often is: how many big, buffed boss fights can you get done in a day? Continuing to adventure and generally walk around after you've expended your daily resources doesn't help you get more big fights done in a single day (in fact it increases the probability that you'll get into a fight and lose due to lack of resources, and death really cuts into your schedule) so you lose nothing, time-wise, by safely hiding in a rope trick.

And... the rope trick can be spotted, too. "The rope cannot be removed or hidden." So it isn't exactly the best possible way to hide. It is useful, certainly... but hardly problematic.

Well, keep in mind this wasn't true in 3.5. So yes, Pathfinder nerfed it a bit. (Although see my comments earlier in the thread about cutting the rope and so forth.)

Bad guys can just crawl on up into your rope trick while the party is all fast asleep. And then more 'bad stuff' happens.

Obviously you put someone on watch. Come on.

And since only one person can climb the rope at a time, and they can't even see the extradimensional window (and you CAN see them coming), it's almost trivially easy to surprise them with a nice gang-up the moment they poke their head into the space. After the first orc pokes his head up into nowhere, is promptly murdered, and falls off the rope, his face and head mangled nearly to unrecognizability with a combination of blades and spell blasts... how eager will the other orcs be to proceed? (And even if they are, you can go ahead and keep murdering them, too.)

Climbing up into a rope trick with the intent of assaulting the occupants is pretty much the worst idea, in short. Now, if you'd said: "A cleric comes by and dispels the rope trick" — ok, then we have a more interesting scenario. Still not spell-nerfingly catastrophic — but interesting.

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Um, guys, the point is not that you use rope trick to regain spells more than once a day. That's crazy; no one is suggesting that (except you two, apparently), it's never been considered legal, and it's certainly not the source of rope trick's brokenness.

The reason the spell is broken is because you regain spells, go out and nova things for 15 minutes, and then spend the rest of the day just hanging out. And then when it comes time to sleep, or if anything threatening comes your way, you climb into the rope trick and sleep / relax in there.

To go back to my previous Ravenloft example, one of the things that are supposed to make that adventure scary is that spending the night in the castle is anywhere from spooky to terrifying; all manner of things roam the halls of Ravenloft at night, and they will come upon you while you sleep, quietly subdue whoever's on watch, and feast on your delicious blood / life energy / etc.

But if you've got rope trick, then all of that is moot. Anytime you feel like not exploring anymore, you just plop yourself down wherever you are and hang out, and when it's time to sleep, you all climb into the extradimensional space and sleep soundly, knowing that you're immune to anything and everything that might walk by. Heck, you can prepare three rope tricks (or make some scrolls) and have 24 hours of coverage at level 8! You are exposed to the dangers of the scary world of adventuring for exactly as many minutes in a day as you choose to be, and not one second more.

This whole business with regaining spells twice a day or what have you is one colossal red herring.

Night attacks aren't dickery, they are a completely reasonable threat when you're resting in enemy territory.

Meanwhile, the whole "the rope cannot be removed or hidden" stipulation is actually kinda strange, when you think about it*. Ok, so 16,000 pounds of force pulls the rope free. Then what? Does the spell end when that happens? Or what? What if, instead of pulling at the rope, you cut it? It's a regular rope, right? Just take your sword to it, cut it off? Or is the rope invulnerable somehow? If not, how close to the dimensional boundary can you make that cut? Can you just have a millimeter of rope dangling out? That seems like it'd be hard to spot, yeah?

*As is most magic-related rules text that says "you can't X", rather than "if X happens, then Y results".

The Arcatraz dungeon from World of Warcraft (Burning Crusade) could be a source of ideas.

See, the Arcatraz is an alien prison ship, once crewed by good-aligned aliens (who were forced to abandon ship), and inside are kept various creatures — demons, aliens, criminals. Some are in stasis (and the PCs might inadvertently, or intentionally, let them loose). Some have broken free, allied with others, and entrenched themselves in parts of the ship. Some are simply rampaging. There are also security robots, some of which are malfunctioning and berserk.

The aesthetics of the place are also pretty cool — all crystals and force fields and light.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Makhno wrote:
Wait, banning things is finicky? Or do you mean duration-nerfing?

Sorry, I meant your 'I'll just invoke RT's hazard clause if the party takes their bag of holding inside the RT' solution. I think it's finicky because it simply encourages players to get more creative in their effort to break the 4-encounter-day paradigm. (As do all "I'll just come up with various reasons why my PCs shouldn't rest in RT" solutions.)

Apparently it works for other DMs, but it's too finicky for me.

Heh. Yeah, I don't actually advocate solving rope trick that way; it's just the simplest way to solve it without house ruling.

My favorite rope trick solution was one I instituted in a Ravenloft (original module, not setting) game I ran. You see,

Ravenloft is filled with this evil mist that, once you breathe it, you need to keep breathing to survive; if you leave Ravenloft before defeating Strahd, you immediately start to choke from the absence of the mist, and soon suffocate. (Destroying Strahd causes the mist to disperse and the affliction to be cured.)

So when the PCs cast a rope trick and climbed in, I told them they start choking. Turns out (thus I ruled), the mist won't diffuse past the dimensional boundary. There sure was weeping and gnashing of teeth that day, I tell ya what.

Wait, banning things is finicky? Or do you mean duration-nerfing? I don't actually think there's a way to boost things to 24hrs in PF, by the way, but if there is, then that's where the actual problem lies — balancing things by making them short-duration should be a thing, and an ability that lets you ignore the duration limitations of a broad spectrum of things is not balanced.

If we say "yes", what follows from this?


I'd just like to say that I, personally, love playing support characters. I know it's not the most popular play style, but it definitely has adherents.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
As to what value RT has beyond breaking the game's already shaky balance -- it was originally merely another of the wizard's tricks, which may or may not have proven useful on any given day. It lasted mere minutes, so it could be a temporary escape from threats that didn't know the party's exact location, or as a means to spy on monsters who wandered by the invisible door, or even as a means to reach otherwise unreachable ledges and surfaces.

Hm, yeah, that all seems pretty situationally useful (and open to creative use, which is good). I think nerfing the duration would be a simple, straightforward, and therefore (imo) desirable fix.

Yes, yes, yes,, gazebos are by definition open on all sides, so I don't know how to answer that last one. I'm being imprecise here because I've never actually used this house rule; if you did, presumably you'd be more precise. The point is to create a world where people know how to build fortifications in such a way as to block teleportation. And a campaign in which you, the DM, don't have to worry about the PCs teleporting directly into the BBEG's throne room.

My point there wasn't so much to ask you to peg specific cases (although just what architectural details demarcate the boundary between "house with large, open windows" and "gazebo" is an obvious remaining question), but to point out that your proposed solution requires the DM to come up with such details. I am not a fan of "finicky" solutions, ones that force me to make such detailed determinations, and to rethink and redesign things as basic as how houses are built; plus, do you really look forward to having your players ask you for the precise architectural descriptions of every location they find themselves in? I sure don't. I far prefer simple, "cut-the-knot" style solutions.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

You're picking a certain thickness, say 1 meter, and ruling that casters can't teleport into enclosed structures with that thickness of material. So a wizard could teleport over a mountain range, but not into the dwarven stronghold under the mountain.

"Enclosed", you say. How enclosed does "enclosed" have to be? Parapet of a castle: not enclosed? House with open windows: enclosed? Cavern system with no doors, open to the surface in places: enclosed? Interior of a gazebo (with thick walls): not enclosed?

Makhno wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

But I don't enjoy that minigame, so I'd rather just say "No. You. Can't. Period."

Can't what? Can't cast the spell?
Gain the benefits of resting while in an extra-dim space. Did you not read my suggestion?

I read it, I just didn't make the connection to the discussion of hazards and whatnot. I get it now.

Makhno wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
2. I see PF edited out the vague reference to 'hazards' in the rope trick spell, which is a step forward. (How many inane debates did we endure during 3.x involving the interpretation of 'hazard'?)
To what do you refer, here? I've never seen such a debate in any group I've been in, and I am curious what it could be about. Is it the bit about taking extradimensional spaces into the rope trick?
That's the one! I remember several lengthy debates about RT before 2008, in which some DMs would say "I can just adjudicate those unspecified hazards if my players get clever with RT," while other gamers would say "Making up house rules on the fly like that is a really dick thing to do! And also, what if your players hide their bag of holding outside of the RT?" There was more to the endless back-and-forth, but that was the gist of it.

It seems to me that a DM is well within his right to point out the "hazards" phrasing the first time the PCs ever use rope trick; and if they subsequently use it without stowing their bags of holding elsewhere, to hit the party with a planar rift — the closest rule-covered situation, after all, is the bag-hole interaction.

That said, if I were starting a campaign now, I'd ban rope trick outright. I admit there are modifications of it that would make it balanced — yours possibly among them (I haven't thought about it hard enough to make up my mind) — but unless it becomes clear to me what value the spell has other than a place to rest safely, I would simply avoid the work of balancing it, and just toss it.

I'd love to take a look and give feedback! Note, I've never played the truenamer in 3.5 (well, it was pretty bad in 3.5, so you can't blame me, I hope).

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
2. I see PF edited out the vague reference to 'hazards' in the rope trick spell, which is a step forward. (How many inane debates did we endure during 3.x involving the interpretation of 'hazard'?)

To what do you refer, here? I've never seen such a debate in any group I've been in, and I am curious what it could be about. Is it the bit about taking extradimensional spaces into the rope trick?

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

But I don't enjoy that minigame, so I'd rather just say "No. You. Can't. Period."

Can't what? Can't cast the spell?

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

A couple of other teleport ideas:

1) Teleportation is blocked by thick wood, metal, and stone. Prevents PCs from teleporting directly into the BBEG's lair to buff-gank him, from using teleportation as a panic button, and explains why castles are still relevant in a world with teleportation.

So... you can't teleport out of your house. Or into your friend's house. You can only teleport from outdoors to outdoors. But wait. Isn't there wood, metal, or stone between any two sufficiently distant outdoor locations? Like, trees? Rocks? The ground? Are we handwaving all of that away?


2) Casting times of long range teleportations are 5 minutes, or however long the longest-lasting buff spell is. Prevents characters from scry-buff-teleport, and from using teleportation as a panic button.

This has potential, but I get a "this will surely have issues that I can't think of right now" feeling from it. Bears consideration.

williamoak wrote:

s an example for coordinate scrolls: You basically create a scroll that marks a spot. It is HARD to be very familiar with a spot (IE, it has to be your home or something) but the coordinate scroll is basically a marker for an area you've been for a shorter period (for example, you wander a lot? Never stay somewhere long enough to become very familiar? well, you need the scroll.)

And I want to avoid banning, if only because I dont like removing variety.


1. What is required to create the scroll? Where do you have to be? On the spot? How long does it take? Does it cost anything?
2. What do you do with the scroll then? Do you take it with you? Leave it on the spot?
3. How long does the scroll last if unused? Forever? What about if used? Is it expended?

As for banning... I generally agree with not removing variety... but those two spells don't add variety in any meaningful sense. They just add power. They're not interesting. (In my opinion.)

And there's a bigger issue: if you commit to not removing variety, and also allow all Paizo material, then you make yourself a slave to the continual addition of variety (or "variety"). At some point, more variety is too much. Also, there lies power creep.

I think you can say "I will stick to core, and not remove variety", or you can say "I will allow non-core material, but I will be selective about all material I allow, core included"; but saying "I will allow all material, nonselectively" is setting yourself up for trouble.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Actually, Cold Ice Strike is a perfect example of nerfing martials more than casters. The ORIGINAL version was indeed a swift action 60 ft cone. But it also had an implied expensive material component, which could have easily lessened the appeal.

Wait, what? My copy of UM has no such component... what are you referring to?

williamoak wrote:
What do you think of my proposals? [...]

Let's see...

Teleport, coordinate scrolls: I confess I don't understand the mechanic. Could you clarify, maybe provide an example?

My immediate reaction is: this is too complex / too hard to understand a mechanic. I like simple, straightforward solutions.

Blood money: ban it.

Paragon surge: ban it.

There's no need for complex solutions to spells that aren't compelling enough to keep and do nothing interesting but add power to casters.

Charm, Dominate: requires more thought. Rich Burlew's Diplomacy rules may be part of the solution; I sort-of-use them myself.

Holy crap, that article is so bad. A DM instituting a set of suggestions like that would make me really angry. I would definitely not play in a game like that.

The only thing I like is the "ley lines" modification to teleport. Otherwise... UGH.

However, I do agree that there are problematic spells. When I'm not hurrying to catch a bus, I'll see about a list, with some suggestions.

Hendelbolaf wrote:
Makhno wrote:
Hendelbolaf wrote:

Edit: Now I need to convert Daoud's Wondrous Lanthorn...
That one's in the Arms & Equipment Guide (a 3.0 book).
Excellent! The problem with playing only Pathfinder now is that I am not in the old books so much. Once I opened it up I instantly recalled that it also had Blackrazor, Wave, and Whelm. This is why I love the messageboards.

Yes, the conversions of the White Plume Mountain weapons, and other old stuff, is one of the reasons why I love the A&EG like, this much.

(Also the vehicle rules.)

andreww wrote:

Now metamagic works in the least advantageous way for a sorcerer. Lets say that you have memorised an Empowered Fireball in a level 5 slot:


It counts as a level 5 spell for:

Concentration DC's
What sort of metamagic rod can affect it so you need a normal rather than a lesser

I am not sure it was a reversal of a previous ruling but it definitely changed the strength of Rods.

Oh, that's unfortunate! If this is a change, it's definitely one for the worse... I don't suppose you have a link to the relevant FAQ entry?

leo1925 wrote:

About nerfing spellcasters:

A few months back they went 180 on their FAQ about metamagiced spells and metamagic rods, now it's not faving the spellcaster.

Could you say more about this? I'm not familiar with this issue, and am curious!

Snorter wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Maybe it was just mine, who'd say, "OK, you have to ready an action and wait until the dragon lunges to bite you, but then you can swing at its head as it snaps at you." Seemed reasonable at the time. Totally a houserule, yes, but not one that ever strained credibility.

I don't even consider that to have ever been a houserule. Or even a corner case. Or even up for discussion.

That's what readied actions were designed to be used for.

I disagree. I don't think the rules support it (sans feat), and with good reason. In fact, I'd say the RAW clearly disallows it. It definitely takes a house rule to make this work baseline.

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In the campaign I run, one of the players created this item:


Wand Bandolier/Staff Holster

Originally engineered by Cherkess battle sorcerers, a Wand Bandolier/Staff Holster is a leather and cloth construction designed to make storing and retrieving wands/staves as simple as using a weapon sheath or sling. Each Wand Bandolier/Staff Holster has space for 10 wands/staves. Drawing or sheathing a wand/staff is a move action, just as it is for a weapon. One can wear two such bandolier/holsters, slung both ways across the chest.

Market Price: 1,000 gp.

And its magical version:


Wand Bandolier/Staff Holster of Swift Retrieval

Designed by the Wizard Nikolai of the Spellkeepers of Odin, this appears to be a normal bandolier/holster, but it is enchanted with subtle magic similar to an efficient quiver. When drawing a particular wand/staff, it will seem to spring into the wielder's hands, taking but a free action. Similarly, sheathing a wand/staff takes only a free action.

Moderate Conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Price 6,000 gp.

It's not a stretch to make it work with rods also. You might convince your DM to let you have such a thing.

Hendelbolaf wrote:

Edit: Now I need to convert Daoud's Wondrous Lanthorn...

That one's in the Arms & Equipment Guide (a 3.0 book).

This is excellent! I, too, am looking forward to it!

Reverse Declaration of Combustion is just the thing for those pesky frost worms, balors, burning skeletons, and such-like monsters. I fully support the "piggyback obscure mechanic on common mechanic" approach.

Ravingdork wrote:

I'm so stealing this and putting it in my Crazy Character Gallery.

Also, kudos for the creative thread title.

I came to this thread for exactly this. Good work, Ravingdork.

CWheezy wrote:
Makhno wrote:

This is because BAB is one of those stats that is not used directly in any calculations or rolls during combat; what you actually use are stats derived from it, like total attack bonus, CMB, CMD, etc.

It actually matters for power attack

Good point! Combat Expertise also!

Right, if you are modifying the monster, then the BAB is important to know; if you're using it as-is, then it's not.

This is because BAB is one of those stats that is not used directly in any calculations or rolls during combat; what you actually use are stats derived from it, like total attack bonus, CMB, CMD, etc.

Other parts of a stat block that are "irrelevant" in similar fashion are unconditional* racial skill modifiers (because they are already rolled into the total skill modifier); the hit die line (i.e. a tarrasque's 30d10+360; all you need to know in combat is the actual hp total); and, interestingly, the creature's ability scores (excepting the rare case of needing to make a bare ability check; in combat this occurs infrequently at best).

*Note that conditional racial skill modifiers, such as a hyena's +4 racial bonus to Stealth checks in tall grass, remain relevant.

Yes, that is the creature's Base Attack Bonus, which has the same meaning as a PC's BAB. It affects several things, most of which are irrelevant if you're just using the monster as written. (For example, what feats it qualifies for.)

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